…issues own 10-point list of demands
By Kiana Wilburg
In keeping with the “season” of 10-point list of demands, a non-governmental organization, Blue CAPS, has issued its own list of demands from the country’s political leaders.
The Alliance For Change (AFC) initially started the “ten-point list of demands” when it called on government to do several things which included the holding of Local Government elections, establishing the Public Procurement Commission and appointing members to the Integrity Commission.
The People’s Progressive Party had also made its list of 10 demands on Tuesday last, with General Secretary, Clement Rohee, calling on the Opposition to give its support for a number of projects, including the Marriott Hotel, the Specialty Hospital and the Amaila Falls hydro project.
By way of a release, Blue CAPS noted that both opposition and government have laid out their 10-point demands of each other, but there are ten things it would like from its political policy makers on both sides of the aisle which are in the interest of the people.
The group called for the holding of Local Government Elections, for policy makers to put Guyana’s interest above party interest and end to racial politics, engaging and incorporating of civil society views in national decision-making, compromise and negotiation on important issues, respect for Parliamentary procedures and decisions, equality and respect for young leaders, respect for the human rights of all citizens, an end to the ‘cuss out’ culture and the establishment of institutions to increase transparency and accountability.
President of the NGO, Clinton Urling, told Kaieteur News that the ten-point list was formulated to represent the interest of the people.
“We are a non-partisan civic NGO which develops and advocates public policy prescriptions for a better Guyana. Further, we need a better political culture and though our organization is still in an informal stage before it gets registered under the Companies Act, we are still pressing for policies we believe are in the interest of the people and that is part of what we basically do.”
As it relates to its demand for politicians to put Guyana’s interest above that of its individual parties, Urling said that this became part of their list because there is a feeling that there is more often than not, consideration of the parties’ interests and not those of the people.
The Former President of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry explained, “When we look at what is playing out over the passage of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Bill, among other Bills which have not been assented to, we see clearly that these individuals are more interested in gaining power or holding on to it, rather than putting what will be in the country’s interest first. That will only hinder the nation.”
With respect to the Blue CAPS’ call for politicians to adhere to parliamentary procedures, Urling said, “We have seen since the last elections, disrespect for parliamentary protocols from both sides. We have Parliamentarians refusing to apologize when instructed to by the Speaker of the House, and some failing to show up at Committee meetings. Also the lack of respect for motions passed and certain rulings of the National Assembly are matters of concern, and it shows a level of immaturity from our leaders. We are concerned about Parliament’s power being undermined because of a lack of respect from both sides. ”
The businessman continued, “They also need to end this cuss-out culture. It is not healthy for our people. And it is an obvious pattern that is developing. When one makes comments against those doctrines held by some, we see attempts from both sides to tarnish that person, and it is becoming part of the political culture.
“Let me reiterate that we are a Non Governmental Organization, and I am basically speaking to the issues affecting civil society… and it is not strange for a non-partisan group to make demands that are political in nature because at the end of the day, it has an effect on the lives of the people.”
“The NGO will continue to advocate for the rights of the people. We will work along with the politicians and try to influence the discourse, but at the end of it all, what this country needs is mature politics,” Urling said in conclusion.
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